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The Solar Thread: Energy from the Sun

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As for solar thermal I really am amazed how unpopular it is and can only believe it is down to a lack of understanding.

I'm sure part of it stems from the cost of keeping all those parabolic mirrors clean and all the hassle involved in keeping them pointing at the sun, plus the fact that they're no use when it's overcast. To be honest, I'm not sure why everyone insists on using mirrors, since apparently unconcentrated collectors are only 20% less productive than ideal concentrators. FWIW I just found this figure in 'Advanced Engineering Thermodynamics' by Adrian Bejan, but haven't had time to read his analysis in detail so am not sure what the practical implications are.

 

C J

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I'm guessing the solar thermal people must be looking into adding a "self cleaning glass" panel to their products.

 

http://www.pilkingtonselfcleaningglass.co.uk/

 

If not, maybe they should consider it.

The small increase in cost (as percentage of overall cost) is surely covered by the reduced maintenance?

 

PS found this company which doesnt use mirrors either.

http://www.solheat.co.uk/Domestic1.htm

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PS found this company which doesnt use mirrors either.

http://www.solheat.co.uk/Domestic1.htm

I believe that heaters of that nature are in fairly common use for water heating purposes, but as far as I know nobody is using them for power generation. That's probably because they don't generate sufficient temperature differentials to run a conventional engine, and explains why companies like Stirling Energy are using parabolic mirrors to generate a 'hot spot' for their engines to operate in.

 

The Stirling Energy generators are an impressive piece of engineering, but you can see what I mean about needing to keep the mirrors clean! They also need clear skies, which means we're unlikely to see any of them deployed in the UK.

 

C J

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The Stirling Energy generators are an impressive piece of engineering, but you can see what I mean about needing to keep the mirrors clean! They also need clear skies, which means we're unlikely to see any of them deployed in the UK.

 

C J

Yes, a technology that had almost been forgotten about, but used in conjunction with solar would probably not be the best optiion in the UK (he says looking out his window at the perma-drizzle).

 

There is a company that will fit your home with a stirling engine that runs off your gas supply in order to generate electricity. In turn, the excess heat that it generated goes to your central heating/hot water supply and excess electricity is sold back to the grid.

 

I think they’re called whispergen, and also do portable units for canal barges and boats/caravans.

 

They claim they pay for themselves quite quickly.

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JD,

 

If I twisted you arm, which type of solar cell tehnology would you buy now?

 

Might you change your opinion if your were buying in South China or Hong kong- a warmer, sunnier place?

 

= =

 

MORE from that Sol Heat site:

Even in the UK we can harvest solar energy and reduce your water heating costs by up to 70% over the course of a year, regardless of your existing heating system.

 

We have solutions for all common types of existing water heating systems including combi boilers and under floor heating systems.

 

A Sol Heat solar water-heating system will reduce your impact on the environment, our domestic systems can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over one tonne per year.

 

Most of our domestic systems use a solar powered pump and control system, and are truly 100% green.

 

We provide a full design and installation service, our solar panels and installations are of the highest quality and most efficient available.

 

A Sol Heat system will enhance the value of your property, help to protect you from increasing energy cost and even energy shortages.

 

Sol Heat is an independent company and offers only solar collectors and components of the highest quality.

 

Our systems have a life expectancy of at least 35 years and require almost no maintenance.

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At present I’d have to opt for Silicon photovoltaic in a climate like that. Commercial systems give 20-25% efficiency. (In Spain the government will now guarantee a fixed energy price for PV produced electricity if you want to fill a field with them! Apparently it's a 25 year guarantee!).

 

In the future, GaAs (higher efficiency / more cost) will become useful as they are beginning to fit collectors (concentrating lenses) to these devices. Early stages yet mind. Also, over the mid term, the polymer PV should begin to yield better results.

 

There would be no real need for the hot water advantage of the type of solar thermal we have discussed (suited nicely for the UK), as I guess cooling is more of a problem in a hotter climate.

 

However, for solar thermal, in conjunction with a Stirling engine, described by C J, the solar concentrators/mirrors need also to have tracking devices for best efficiency, substantially increasing complexity and costs. I don’t know the figures for these devices, but will keep an eye open.

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CONVERSATION-- With the Inventor of Solar Cells

 

Solar? MIT’s Technology Review talks to the inventor of the most efficient solar cell, who says:

 

A very reputable journal [Photon Consulting] just published predictions for module prices for silicon for the next 10 years, and they go up the first few years. In 10 years, they still will be above three dollars, and that’s not competitive.

 

Yes, people are trying to make silicon in a different way, but there’s another issue: energy payback. It takes a lot of energy to make silicon out of sand, because sand is very stable. If you want to sustain growth at 40-50 percent, and it takes four or five years to pay all of the energy back [from the solar cells], then all of the energy the silicon cells produce, and more, will be used to fuel the growth.

 

And mankind doesn’t gain anything. Actually, there’s a negative balance. If the technology needs a long payback, then it will deplete the world of energy resources. Unless you can bring that payback time down to where it is with dye-cells and thin-film cells, then you cannot sustain that big growth. And if you cannot sustain that growth, then the whole technology cannot make a contribution.

 

With regard to the dye-cells [he invented], silicon has a much higher efficiency; it’s about twice [as much]. But when it comes to real pickup of solar power, our cell has two advantages: it picks up [light] earlier in the morning and later in the evening. And also the temperature effect isn’t there–our cell is as efficient at 65 degrees [Celsius] as it is at 25 degrees, and silicon loses about 20 percent, at least.

 

If you put all of this together, silicon still has an advantage, but maybe a 20 or 30 percent advantage, not a factor of two. [Meanwhile] a factor of 4 or 5 [lower cost than silicon] is realistic. If it’s building integrated, you get additional advantages because, say you have glass, and replace it [with our cells], you would have had the glass cost anyway.

 

So realistic solar cell production that are cost-effective without subsidies are still a few years away. In the meantime, we’ll have to dig deeper and deeper for new energy sources.

 

...more : http://biz.yahoo.com/seekingalpha/060917/17018_id.html?.v=1

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CONVERSATION-- With the Inventor of Solar Cells

 

MIT’s Technology Review talks to the inventor of the most efficient solar cell,

They're talking about Prof Gratezel (Lausanne, Switzerland)

 

This is his company

 

http://www.dyesol.com/index.php?element=Ne...20consulting%22

 

Although to be honest, the last I heard was that their efficiency was only fairly small (about 10 or 11%, definitely not the best in the world) and that they had a short operational lifetime.

 

It would be great if they had managed to increase the dye solar cell efficiency. I will check with my colleagues, they’re far more up to date than me with such things.

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have you heard about a new plant in switzerland?

 

cuts silicon cells.

highly automated. starts up soon. shud bring costs down somewhat

 

i heard about the swiss plant from one of the investors. it will ipo soon

 

= =

 

slightly off topic:

have you any comments on the factory project, JD?

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have you heard about a new plant in switzerland?

 

cuts silicon cells.

highly automated. starts up soon. shud bring costs down somewhat

 

i heard about the swiss plant from one of the investors. it will ipo soon

 

= =

 

slightly off topic:

have you any comments on the factory project, JD?

Haven't heard of the plant but will ask around.

 

Have put factory project response on thread

http://www.greenenergyinvestors.com/index....gopid=9154&

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INTERVIEW - China Suntech Sees Solar Cell Prices Peaking

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

CHINA: August 21, 2006

 

SHANGHAI - China's Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. said on Friday it expects rising prices for solar power cells will start to decline as soon as next year, fuelling demand for solar energy.

 

 

"Several major manufacturers, including Suntech, consider that in the next year we need to cut the price ... to bring this industry into a healthier type of situation," said Zhengrong Shi, chief executive of one of the world's 10 biggest makers of solar cells.

Solar cell use had been growing rapidly in China, but that was mainly because of government incentives, Shi said.

 

Price cuts would allow the industry to flourish without artificial supports, increasing its transparency, he said in an interview.

 

Prices may fall by 5 to 10 percent in 2007, said China-born Shi, who spent 14 years working and studying in Sydney and became a dollar billionaire after Suntech's initial public offer in New York last December.

 

In February, Suntech said its average selling prices would rise 5 to 7 percent this year.

 

Another threat to the company's margins is the cost of the silicon used to make solar cells. Silicon prices rose nearly 50 percent last year, partly because of competing demand from the computer industry.

 

 

...MORE : http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cf...37743/story.htm

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(Soon available in Uk, Europe)

 

Renewable Capital to License Konarka's

Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell Technology

 

Relationship to focus on manufacturing scale-up in Europe and commercialization of

Konarka's dye cell technology

 

Lowell, Mass. and London, UK – July 31, 2006 – Konarka Technologies, Inc., an innovator i

developing and commercializing Power Plastic™ that converts light to energy, and Renewable

Capital Ltd, an investment firm that identifies and invests in renewable technologies, today

announced the licensing and joint development of Konarka's dye-sensitized solar cell technology

for large-scale production. The agreement will further the commercialization of Konarka's dye

cell technology by bringing on large-scale production capabilities. Renewable Capital has

committed resources, capital and equipment to their development activities. This includes the

enlistment of services from Coatema, a world-renowned manufacturer of first-of-kind coating

equipment.

 

"This is a key milestone in that Renewable Capital's investment validates the progress we have

made in the development of high volume manufacturing methods for the dye sensitized

process," commented Howard Berke, chairman and CEO for Konarka. "The non-exclusive

relationship with Renewable Capital will enable for the large-scale manufacturing production and

scale-up of Konarka's dye-sensitized solar cell technology. With this partnership, we are

continuing to execute on our strategy to partner with leading global companies."

 

 

@: http://www.renewablecapital.co.uk/breaking...a_7_31_2006.pdf

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(from Hornet Renewables' comment):

 

Solar stocks were down hard as rumours and worries about future growth prospects as well as talk of falling margins ballasted the solar market. The bell -wethers:

 

QCells, Solarworld, Evergreen Solar and Conergy were all down by over 10%.

 

Most of the problem was caused by the Spanish Energy Ministry which published a draft bill during the week which proposed reducing the feed in tariff for PV systems to €0.33 per kWh, down from €0.44. We believe that these changes have been largely misunderstood by the market and are of the opinion that they will not have a significant effect on the growth prospects in the Spanish markets as the resulting changes will

still mean that solar projects will have yields of 30% or more. We used this softness as an opportunity to buy select names at good prices.

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Riding the ups and downs of alternative energy

A long-term investment with plenty of volatility, analysts say

 

Stephanie I. Cohen ... Sept. 27, 2006

 

 

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- If filling up at the pump has you cursing big oil companies, investing in alternative energy companies may offer some sweet revenge. Picture the upside: Advancing alternative energies while turning a profit.

The downside? Volatility in the underlying energy markets, where a steep drop in oil or gas prices can smother profit forecasts, investor enthusiasm and even regulatory support just as quickly as they are ignited by a spike in prices at the pump.

 

Meanwhile, companies with names like SunPower, SunTech Power, and Powerlight are among those fetching headlines and investment dollars the likes of which haven't been seen since the Arab Oil Embargo of the early 1970s.

They are also drawing in such luminaries as Sir Richard Branson, who announced last week that his Virgin Group is pumping up to $400 million into alternative fuels via an investment fund dubbed Virgin Fuels with an initial investment in California-based ethanol producer Cilion, a privately held company.

 

Branson has plenty of company. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association, investments by venture capitalists in alternative energy deals jumped 69% in the second quarter from a year ago.

In 2005, $1.6 billion in venture capital went toward developing clean technology in North America, up 34.9% from 2004, according to Cleantech Venture Network.

"There's a raft of IPO's coming," said New Energy Fund Managing Partner Mark Townsend Cox. When evaluating where to place a bet in the burgeoning field, Cox said an investor must always ask "does the technology work and is it economical?"

 

But no amount of due diligence will shield investors from big risks and big swings in stock prices.

"As is often the case with emerging markets, these stocks have been volatile," said Rob Stone, managing director of equity research at Cowen & Co. Investors should see the alternative energy sector as long-term commitment, he added.

In the past two months, solar stocks have dipped 40% to 50%, said Jeffrey Bencik, senior analyst at Jeffries & Co.

 

Dave Edwards, managing director and head of the merging growth group at Think Equity Partners, warns "there will be more losers than winners" in this dynamic new arena.

 

Solar isn't the only green energy card to play. Companies that deliver fuel cells, wind power, and biofuel technology are also seen as contenders in the fight against higher prices and the need to nurture more domestic sources of energy.

While there are plenty of mainstream and multinational companies undertaking green ventures -- FPL Group. Inc. (FPL : FPL Group, Inc.: 47.90+0.43+0.91%) , Sharp Corp. (SHCAF) , and General Electric (GE : General Electric Company

: 35.47+0.19+0.54%) -- investors have a myriad of lesser-known options.

 

Solar Photovoltaics, after lurking for decades in the dark recesses of government labs, is suddenly sexy again amid swelling commercial demand and alluring government tax credits at home and abroad, where many of the biggest players are based. And since solar accounts for less than one percent of the electricity generated worldwide, analysts see plenty of room for growth.

 

Last year, solar upstarts made up the three biggest initial public offerings in the technology sector: Q-Cells Ag, SunPower Corp., and Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd., according to a CleanEdge Inc. report on trends in the alternative energy market. These companies remain analysts' top picks today.

 

Ron Pernick, co-founder and principle of CleanEdge calls the solar market a "pure technology play." He points to solar cell and panel manufacturer SunPower (SPWR : 31.60-0.34-1.06%) as a prime example, noting that the Silicon Valley firm is a spin-off of Cypress Semiconductor that makes high efficiency solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity.

 

Shares of SunPower priced between $12 and $14 at the company's initial offering last year. Shares were recently trading at $27.10 after tumbling from $44 in March to a low of $24 in mid-July. Piper Jaffray's 12-month price target for SunPower is $39.

 

The overall solar market is seen expanding from $7.2 billion in 2004 to $39.2 billion by 2014, according to CleanEdge. There are investment opportunities at "every step of the solar food chain," Stone said.

 

 

@: http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Stor...amp;sid=1950277

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MORE solar ipos...

 

Canadian Solar is going public : for $13-15, raising maybe $115 million on Nasdaq

 

Money to go towards buying raw materials, such as silicon.

 

Apparently, prices for a kilogram of raw material for solar chips

have jumped to as much as US$200 from as low as $20 at teh beginning of last year

 

Who is collecting all those excess profits??

 

Can-Solar started in 2002, and had profits of US$3.8mn last yr, up from $1.5mn in 2004.

 

OTHER IPOS in the works:

 

- Yingli Solar : to raise $400mn

- LDK Solar HiTech : to raise $300mn

and:

- Trina Solar,

- Linyang Solar

 

...according to an article in today's SCMP

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I spent some time reading about thin-film technology and Energy Conversion DeviceS ~ United Solar Ovonic

 

I asked about energy sums compared with crystalline PVs and got the following reply, which I thought was interesting.

 

###

 

Studies say that in general thin film amorphous technology has a energy pay back time of about 9 month, compared to crystalline silicon modules needing 3.5 years.

 

Two numbers: our techno Si crystalline

 

Thickness 0.001 mm 0.3 mm

 

Process temp 300 degr.C 1420 degr.C

 

Hence much less material at much lower temperatures, plus sawing losses with crystalline cells of about 0.2 mm, plus our technology does not employ glass.

 

 

United Solar Ovonic Europe GmbH

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"has a energy pay back time of about 9 month"

 

that is very interesting.

and makes me want to have more detail on an actual project

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United Solar Ovonic is a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices.

 

ECD seems to have a fine range of alternative technologies, however the thin film solar panel production is being ramped up with two factories - a continuous-stream kind of production technique. The company seems to be getting installations int oEurope and it looks good to me. Cheaper, relatively hard to damage & flexible.

 

There are a good number of example installations linked to these pages.

 

ECD info can be read here ~

http://www.ovonic.com/eb_so_solar_overview.cfm

 

Plus solar images here ~

http://www.ovonic.com/me_images_solar_contact_sheet.cfm

 

And solar specific uni-soalr with illustrated projects here.

http://www.uni-solar.com/

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One unnamed solar enthusiast (with tens of millions of dollars from a family trust at his disposal) still has not invested in any solar stocks. Why? “My cost for installing solar panels was $2.70 per watt in 2002; now, its $4.00 per watt,” he said. “The cost of money has risen as has the cost of solar panels, insurance, labor, gasoline for service vehicles, etc. In short, the days of fat margins have vanished.”

. .

“PV is the most popular and promising of the renewable technologies because it can be applied and used anywhere in the world without an infrastructure,” states Solar Outlook, a Navigant Consulting study released in June 2006. This aspect is both appealing and alarming. “With PV, private ownership of the means of electricity production is possible, and this represents an unsettling revolution to the current electricity structure and to the politicians,” notes Navigant.

 

Recent growth in solar PV remains largely driven by subsidies. Grid-connected systems accounted for 85% of total sales demand in 2005. Navigant sees slow growth in solar through mid-2008. Thin-film solar (which use less silicon) is ramping up in capacity, but cannot yet fill the gap. Between 2000 and 2005, thin film technologies grew at a compound annual growth rate of 27% (compared to 42% for the dominant crystalline technology), states Navigant.

 

According to the federal Energy Information Administration domestic solar PV shipments reached a record high of 134.5 Megawatts (MW) in 2005, a 72% increase over 2004 shipment figures. And a report released this past October by the Prometheus Institute for Sustainable Development of Cambridge, Massachusetts (and entitled Polysilicon: Supply, Demand & Implications for the PV Industry) claims that the silicon supply bottleneck should ease by 2008."

 

The report forecast sufficient supplies of silicon – currently the feedstock for 95% of the world’s solar PV panels – to allow the solar PV industry to grow to 8,000 MW by 2010. The authors of this silicon supply report – Hilary Flynn and Travis Bradford – go so far as to say that along with seven major polysilicon producers, nearly 20 emerging new producers are entering the fray, and there is even the possibility of a silicon glut before the end of the decade.

 

...more: http://www.altenergyinvestor.org/2006/11/s...ecast.html#more

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(according to Gerald Reid, of Hornet):

 

This week will also see the most significant solar IPO of the year. First Solar Inc, which makes solar modules using thin film technology, expects to raise USD 222.8 million in net proceeds from its IPO. The company is offering 17.5 million shares for an estimated price of USD 17 to USD 19 per share. Following the placement there will be approximately 69m shares outstanding and the company will have a market capitalisation of approximately USD 1.2bn. First Solar is currently increasing its production capacities from 75MW to 175MW with the construction of the new 100MW plant in Germany and the new funds will primarily be used to build a manufacturing facility in Asia. First Solar achieved an average manufacturing cost of USD 1.50 per Watt in the first nine months of 2006, which is significantly lower than the per Watt manufacturing cost of producing crystalline silicon solar modules.

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The Role of New Technologies in a Sustainable Energy Economy

 

In this lively and intense discussion, Belcher looks to the oceans, and Nocera to the sun for answers to an impending global energy shortage.

 

SPEAKERS:

Angela Belcher

Germeshausen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Biological Engineering

 

Daniel Nocera

W. M. Keck Professor of Energy and Professor of Chemistry

 

@: http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/414/

 

At 20:38, Durant reads audience questions.

 

At 23:44, Angela Belcher responds to the question of whether it is safe ecologically to start engineering microbes along the lines she described.

 

At 31:20, Belcher discusses the kind of contribution her technology could make over time.

 

At 32:46, Nocera discusses whether bio engineering can capture and reutilize carbon.

 

At 36:02. Belcher and Nocera discuss harvesting ocean organisms to understand their energy machinery.

 

At 39:04, the speakers answer the question, “Is this pie in the sky, or really coming?”

 

At 45:48, the speakers discuss the issue of distribution costs of new technologies and their impacts at large scale.

 

At 52:50, Nocera describes the earth’s energy needs, and the speakers discuss the energy costs of new technologies.

 

At 1:08:01, the speakers discuss funding issues in new energy research, including the competing priorities of government and corporations and the contribution of the military.

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(From Prof. Dan Nocera's talk - see MIT interview):

 

Energy Requirement for our Planet

 

Each person : 100 watt lightbulb, needs powering

 

12.8 trillion watts, measured per time

 

ENERGY USE:

2050: 28 kerawatts

2006: 10 kerawatts

differ: 18 kerawatts, to be found

 

(But that need assumes current living standards and rising population,

if the world goes to US living, it is 102 kerawatts, 90 needed- that's impossible)

 

Possible sources:

crops...: 7 kerawatts, if we stop growing food, and grow only energy

nuclear: 8 kerawatts from 8,000 new plants (1 giga-each)

wind....: 2 kerawatts from windpower covering all the land surface

 

The real answer, long term:

The Sun: 800 kerawatts on land mass

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Alternative energy goes after investor dollars

Executives tell big investors the cost of producing power in the sector is dropping.

By Steve Hargreaves, CNNMoney.com staff writer ... February 21 2007:

 

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Executives from some of the world's leading alternative energy companies argued their case to big investors Wednesday, outlining why money thrown into the red-hot sector will pay off.

 

Much of the rationale centered around costs, which leaders of renewable energy firms contend are dropping at a breakneck clip.

 

"We need to make sure solar is becoming cost effective compared to other energy sources," Erik Thorsen, president of the Norwegian solar firm Renewable Energy Corporation told the crowd at Piper Jaffray's second annual conference on investor opportunities in alternative energy.

 

Thorsen said the company planned to cut silicon costs by 70 percent by 2010 by using less silicon in solar energy devices, combined with higher efficiency solar cells.

 

Silicon costs have been a major hurdle to developing solar power, as the price of the material, which is also used in computer chips, has soared in recent years due to skyrocketing demand.

 

California-based Applied Materials (Charts), which makes semiconductor production equipment and recently moved into making equipment for manufacturing solar power cells, also outlined strategies to reduce production costs.

 

Applied Materials presented a solar panel design four times larger than current panels, basically something the size of a large garage door.

 

The company said the design would save up to four times on costs associated with framing and connecting a solar set-up.

 

Sunpower Corporation (Charts), also based in California, said it was looking at shaving 30 percent off installation costs, partly by designing solar panels that take the place of normal construction materials, like roofing tiles.

 

Sunpower's executive, Tom Werner, also pointed to the massive potential of the electricity market, which he said was valued at over $1 trillion annually, and that the company is poised to take an ever larger share of that pie with each corresponding drop in solar's price.

 

"The upside opportunity here is fantastic," said Werner.

 

While there may be tremendous opportunity in investing in alternative energy companies, investors should always understand that the companies are often new and small, and can therefore be very volatile.

 

Take ethanol darling Verasun (Charts), which debuted last summer at over $30 a share, quickly lost half it's value, rose to near $30 again, and now trades at $15.

 

Among larger companies at Wednesday's conference, DuPont (Charts) outlined its emerging bio program, saying it is nearly ready to introduce a plant-based material that can replace petroleum-based plastics in things like carpet fiber, molded parts and packaging.

 

John Ranieri, general manager of the company's bio-based materials division, said DuPont is also big in developing organisms that create ethanol or butanol, that later of which he said could be more promising than ethanol for certain fuels because it has a higher energy yield.

 

In response to a question about when cellulosic ethanol might be cost effective, Ranieri said that "by 2010 we'll be looking at commercial possibilities."

 

Piper Jaffray, a Minneapolis based investment bank, organized the conference to bring together what a spokeswoman said were top companies and the bank's clients, which include mutual funds, hedge funds, and other institutional investors.

 

Other publicly traded companies presenting at the conference included MEMC Electronic Materials, Energy Conversion Devices, First Solar, Metabolix, Nova Biosource Fuels, The Andersons, Beacon power Corporation, Akeena Solar, Canadian Solar, Fuel Cell Energy, Active Power, Ormat Technologies, EMCORE Corporation, Medis Technologies, Suntech Power Holdings, Evergreen Solar, Active power, Altair Nanotechnologies, Ultralife Batteries, SatCon Technology Corporation, Power Integrations, Power-One, Spire Corporation and American Superconductor Corporation.

 

@: http://money.cnn.com/2007/02/21/news/compa...oney_topstories

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Suntech Power profit up 56% as demand surges

 

By Simon Kennedy

Last Update: 5:13 AM ET Aug 9, 2007

 

 

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- China's Suntech Power Holdings Co. (STP )

: (suntech pwr hldgs co ltd adr / Last: 43.35+2.90+7.17%)

 

said Thursday that its second-quarter net profit rose 56% to $41.3 million, or 25 cents a share, from $26.5 million, or 17 cents a share, as revenue more than doubled to $317.4 million from $128.2 million. The solar energy company said "unprecedented demand" for solar panels helped it exceed its output target for the quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were expecting earnings of 23 cents a share on revenue of $288 million

 

@: http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/sunt...&siteid=rss

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Great thread this! I work in the semi-conductor supply industry and I don't know whether you might be interested in the activity of one of our main competitors (and largest SCS player) Applied Materials (AMAT) has been thinking re. solar:

 

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/a707dfba-f9c5-11dc...dse%3D%26dsz%3D

and

http://search.ft.com/iai?referer=http%3A%2...5000333&x=0

 

Both links require registration, sorry.

 

http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/q?s=AMAT

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